Captivity – Beyond the Pale
This week, riveting headlines revealed death and terror in North Korean gulags. From www.msnbc.com, 1/15/03, a stunning article about torture and inhumanity begins: ” ‘It’s one of the worst, if not the worst situation–human rights abuse situation–in the world today,’ said Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., who held hearings on the camps last year. ‘There are very few places that could compete with the level of depravity, the harshness of this regime in North Korea toward its own people.’ “
This article reveals that some 200,000 men, women and children are held as political prisoners. Among the atrocities inflicted on these captives:
“Inmates are used as human guinea pigs for testing biological and chemical agents, according to both former inmates and U.S. officials.”
” ‘…horrific mistreatment–all sorts of suffering, beatings to death, executions.’ “
” ‘…from time to time a living infant is delivered. And then if someone delivers a live infant, then the guards kick the bloody baby and kill it. And I saw an infant who was crying with pain. I have to express this in words, that I witnessed such an inhumane hell.’ “
Throughout history–both ancient and modern–this kind of human debauchery has occurred. The Bible reveals yet a future time of captivity. Revelation 13:10 states: “He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience [perseverance] and the faith of the saints.” Parallel to this time frame is the warning from Jesus in Luke 21:24: ” ‘And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations…‘ ”
Note this amazing charter given to Ezekiel in chapter 21, verses 6 and 7: ” ‘Sigh therefore, son of man, with a breaking heart, and sigh with bitterness before their eyes. And it shall be when they say to you, ‘Why are you sighing?’ that you shall answer, ‘Because of the news; when it comes, every heart will melt, all hands will be feeble, every spirit will faint, and all knees will be weak as water. Behold, it is coming and shall be brought to pass,’ says the Lord God.’ “
The people of God are commanded to watch and to pray, and as we do this it must be done just like Ezekiel had to do it–on the job–faithfully proclaiming God’s message of warning and of hope!
“Big Brother” in the United States?
A highly publicized report from the most-famous American Civil Rights group, the “American Civil Liberties Union,” (ACLU), which was released this week, has warned that the United States is “heading toward Big Brother society.” The report is titled, “Bigger Monster, Weaker Chains: The Growth of an American Surveillance Society.” As Der Spiegel Online and Yahoo! News related on January 16, ACLU‘s report states, “A combination of lightning-fast technological innovations and the erosion of privacy protections threatens to transform Big Brother from an oft-cited but remote threat into a very real part of American life.”
The study points to “the Total Information Awareness pilot project, in which the Pentagon is exploring amassing a database of Americans’ medical, health, financial, tax and other records. “There are few privacy laws to prevent businesses from selling the government such information,” according to Yahoo! News. “Moreover,” Yahoo! News continues, “under the Patriot Act — the anti-terrorist legislation passed by Congress immediately after the September 11 attacks — the government can demand that libraries turn over reading habits of patrons. Authorities can more easily attain telephone and computer wiretaps, and conduct searches in secret without immediately notifying the target… New rules, the report notes, reinstate the FBI’s ability to spy on Americans even when no crime is suspected.”
Saudi-Arabia’s Point of View
On Monday, January 13, 2003, New York‘s Today Show aired a newscast about Saudi-Arabia, followed by interviews with Crown Prince Abdullah and Prince Al-Faisal of Saudi-Arabia. In the newscast, it was pointed out that the United States needs the support of Saudi Arabia, economically and politically. A strong suggestion was given that all American governments have been overlooking problems in and differences with Saudi Arabia, wooing them instead, to secure continued access to and price control of their oil.
Abdullah said in the interview, “I have a sense it won’t come to war [with Iraq]. I can’t explain it. There is a solution to every problem. Force only brings about death and destruction. That is why I hope my sense is correct.” Prince Al-Faisal, Minister of Foreign Affairs, concurred. “We are working for the prevention of use of military force,” he said, “If we tell the Iraqis, war comes, no matter what, then they will support Saddam. If we don’t succeed peacefully, those who want their war can have it. It will be a catastrophe for the region.”